Two months after Flagler County government took unusual steps to demolish the long-disused and derelict Country Hearth Inn on Old Dixie Highway, a new owner closed on the 8.6-acre property and on May 24 paid off tens of thousands of dollars in health department and code enforcement fines plus back taxes.
The new owners, whose actual identity is not revealed beyond a company incorporated on May 4 for the purchase, and called 2251 S. Old Dixie Highway LLC, appear to be aiming to take advantage of the property’s location at Old Dixie’s intersection with I-95 and return it to a viable hotel or motel. The new owners have been cleaning up the property for weeks.
“The old Dixie property has been partially closed,” County Administrator Jerry Cameron had told the County Commission earlier this month, when both he and the new company’s representatives had signed the agreement setting out the company’s obligations. “The money is in escrow, and the firm that purchased it is under an obligation within three weeks to clean it up completely, to clean the pool, drain it, or cover it and put a fence around it and put it in a safe condition. I’m told by code enforcement that they were diligently out there today, and it was pretty impressive what they were doing. That agreement will have to come to you, but they will have until August 22, I believe, to get their first inspection on the renovation. And if they haven’t gotten that first inspection by that date, they will be required to post a $250,000 cash bond with the Clerk of Court until they do get the first inspection. So it appears that that Saga is on the way to being over. The advantages to the county is that if this goes the way that it appears it’s going to go, that you will have a significant property appraised to go on the tack rolls.”
Ajmal Zulali and Zubair Zulali had bought the property in 2017 for $300,000. But it sat neglected, a growing eyesore and a problem for law enforcement. The Sheriff’s Office pressured the county to address the matter. “Mr Cameron made that a high priority to address that issue, and looking for the appropriate legal response, we passed up a a couple of standard procedures that are used by local governments–unsafe building and code infraction,” County Attorney Al Hadeed said. The county opted to use instead a public nuisance statute that put the county on course to demolish the old motel if its former owners had not addressed the problems–or sold the property.
Finding new owners proved beneficial in several regards. “We were also able to take out of the closing proceeds the payment of all of our outstanding fines,” Hadeed said, “and it forced the purchasers who were very interested to understand the effect of this law, that if they really wanted to acquire the property, they really had to talk to us to get them out of the same injunction loop that the prior owners were in.”
The old owners owned $10,000 in property taxes, $45,000 in fines to the Health Department, $10,200 in fines to the county’s code enforcement division, and an additional fine of nearly $5,000 ranked under “unsafe structure costs.” Documents provided by the county today show that the new owners’ legal representative, Miami-based Valeria Schvartzman, issued three checks totaling $25,000 to the county. The balance of money owed went to the health department. (The law office’s name appears on documents registering the new Old Dixie property with the Florida Division of Corporations, as do the names of David Shebeiro and Manny Gomez, both of whose addresses are listed as that of the Miami firm. “Manny Gomez” is a common name. “David Shebeiro” is not: a Goggle search produces only three hits, all three connected to the Division of Corporations’ record.)
The three-page agreement summarizes the property’s recent and unhappy history of hazards and the county’s initiation of a lawsuit in March and sets out the new owner’s obligations, most of which Cameron summarized in his comments to the commission. The county will dismiss the lawsuit once the obligations are met. Short of that, it would use the money from the $250,000 bond to demolish the building and perform other necessary work on the property. But with payments already made and improvements ongoing, that appears to be a moot issue, or soon will be.
“It was a masterful collaboration by the team to accomplish this,” Cameron said in a release the county issued late this afternoon. “We had done everything we could to work with the previous owners – cajoled them, advised them, fined them – but eventually we had to enter into litigation against them to effect change.”
The county did not disclose the purchase price in the latest transaction, though it will soon appear in the property appraiser’s records.
Land of no turn signals says says
Can’t believe the City of Palm Coast didn’t purchased it for 10 million dollars and flip for 500 thousand a couple years later.A missed opportunity for sure.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Nine years of total abandonment, trash, trees has finally come to a hopeful end. My sincere thanks to John Bey, Flagler County Health Department who took action the day after I called him in January 2018. Bravo John.. And then God Bless Jerry Cameron who took the bull(s) by the horn and was eager and ready to knock this POS down to the ground. My complaints date back to 2012.
Thank you gentlemen, both of you for your dedication to ridding us of this 10 year eyesore. Shame that e-mails from 2012 were ignored by the county until that magic day January 2018 when John Bey, camera and all got the ball rolling and again thank you Jerry for forcing the county to take action. Hopefully our community will benefit.
I am just sad that although I have had disagreements with Jerry, he is a hell of a guy and the best county administrator ( my opinion) since we moved here in 2002. My husband and I are sorry to see him leave us July 3rd – it will certainly put a damper on our July 4th celebration. Jerry, I’m gonna miss you. Nobody else would have gone to the extent you did to get this POS under control.
Continually Amazed says
I have to throw this in, why is that Jane Gentile-Youd never has anything nice to say about any improvement made in this county ? From what I have been hearing county officials have been working very long and hard ridding this area of that dilapidated dangerous eyesore.
Miss Gentile-Youd according to every negative post she vomits out she continually states she is the only person in this county who does anything, but for some reason never seems to boost about any accomplishments.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Why don’t you post your real name? I suggest you look up the word ‘vomit’ .
My most recent accomplishment: getting the 19 year old asphalt road approach and bridge ramp on both Flagler and Volusia sides of the Old Dixie RESURFACED JUST FOUR WEEKS AGO – in April without any help from the county just by correcting FDOT’s Flagler County rep who told the county engineer Faith Alkhatib that Flagler county was responsible for resurfacing the ramp and road light markers. I knew the right person to call – just like the old Hotel – was all it took for FDOT to take a trip out here – confirm to me I was correct and BINGO we have a freshly resurfaced road, new reflectors on the Old Dixie Bridge paid for by FDOT state money and not our local tax dollars . ( The on and off ramps were smoothed out as well because of my efforts.
Many of my posts are positive just as I am . My positive attitude helps me get things done while negative people like yourself don’t get anything done – you’re just too busy ( no guts to use your real name) trashing those , like myself, who devote our personal time to benefit everyone in the county ( including nasty cowards like yourself)
That’s it, you made a phone call and like magic it was done ? Seriously Jane ?
Sounds to me your love taking credit for the accomplishments of others who work hard navigating the tremendous red tape and bureaucratic roadblocks and still get things done without worrying about who takes credit or glory.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
said I did the actual work. I take full credir for my wake up calls
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Continually Amazed: It is obvious you do not understand the English language in addition to hurling vicious insults incognito.. I never said I did the actual ‘work’ on any taxpayer issue
What I have done is successfully was to get the ‘ball rolling on the hotel and very recently got the ball rolling to get our roads resurfaced’. What have you done to help your community?
If you insist on bashing me, as well as putting words into my mouth why don’t you have the b……s to use your real name?
I am even more amazed that the editor has chosen to post your venom and vicious allegtions over and over again.
@Fresh floriduh produce
According to corporationwiki, “2251 S Old Dixie Hwy LLC filed as a Florida Limited Liability in the State of Florida on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 and is less than one month old, according to public records filed with Florida Department of State.”
Then brer Shebeiro signs an agreement on the 13th of May; and the checks roll in on the 24th. By Jove, good show.
Again, according to corporationwiki, “Known Addresses for 2251 S Old Dixie Hwy LLC” are, “12550 Biscayne Blvd North Miami, FL 33181” According to the intertubes, corporationwiki, and Google, 12550 Biscayne Blvd North Miami, FL 33181 is a nine story office building which hosts, or has hosted, 687 floriduh corporations. Well, okay then – a popular place.
And the number of the “silent partners”? God only knows.
“Landlords grow rich in their sleep.”
— John Stuart Mill
Patty Babbitt says
That can be a money maker if done properly…clean and well kept motel no long term residence. Good restaurant, and entertainment on weekends… it’s close to the interstate,housing developments and a campground….great investments,
Congratulations and best of luck..
FlagerLive: FYI, if you did a Google search on his name and only got three hits, it is because you didn’t spell it correctly. Check again for “SHEBIRO” … you’ll find a lot of results, mostly from someone in New York City who owns a bunch of property there.
Your comment brings an issue into real view:
On page 6 (6 of 7) of the aforementioned – as it appears on this page – an illegible signature appears above the hand printed name you have made reference to, i.e., DAVID SHEBIRO.
So what? This, a search on the Fl Div of Corp site produces 1 result for David Shebiro:
A search for David Shebeiro on the Fl Div of Corp site produces 1 result too – the correct one:
Does Shebeiro not know how to spell his own name?